At Albert K’s Lakeside Café in Holland, everyone is treated like family.
“People come here and they want someone to be kind to them and they want to feel special,” said Ellen Smith, owner. “The secret to our success, I think, is serving great-tasting food, but then also the way we treat people here — we get to know them and we connect with them.”
Smith opened the café in 2017 after her corporate lunch catering business took off. The space next to her commercial kitchen, located in Anchorage Plaza across from Lake Macatawa, was vacant, so Smith and her husband decided to knock a hole in the wall and expand their space to create Albert K’s Lakeside Café.
“A lot of my corporate catering customers would ask, ‘How can we get your sandwiches?’ So, we decided to open a café and just do breakfast and lunch,” Smith said. “I don’t have a food background — I just love to cook. And that was it.”
Smith makes everything in-house with homemade recipes and bakes bread fresh every morning. Some of the most popular menu items include: huevos benedict, monkey muffins, blueberry muffins, the quiches, avocado toast, French toast, the smoked ham, sweet bacon and habanero sandwich, the grilled chicken Caesar salad wrap and Caesar salad. Albert K’s also serves coffee and espresso drinks roasted by Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters.
“Our ham habanero sandwich has a sweet bacon — we coat it in brown sugar and we bake it,” Smith said. “And we make a habanero sauce, it just has a ton of kick to it.
“We also sell out of our Caesar salads and wraps — people just die for them. They’re killer.”
The café, a cozy spot located near the Holland State Park, is a popular choice for locals and tourists to relax and unwind during the summer season. Albert K’s is open seasonally, typically closing down during the winter months from November–April.
Outside the café on its patio, you’ll usually find groups of regular customers — close friends and family members catching up, smiling and laughing — and everyone seems to know each other.
“We have met some tremendous people at the café,” Smith said. “It definitely has a Cheers feel to it.”
Albert K’s is open Tuesday–Friday from 7:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Albert K’s Lakeside Café 1819 Ottawa Beach Road, Holland 616-403-7058 Facebook: @albertkscafe